SMART program (Supportive Mentoring through ART)
The SMART program (Supportive Mentoring through ART) is a unique partnership between the Indianapolis Art Center, Starfish Initiative and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana. It's a multi-level program designed to support young artists at different stages of their development. Mentoring matches are selected based on their interest in the arts and availability to actively participate in the SMART program. Matches attend a series of visual art classes taught by professional artists at the Indianapolis Art Center are explore various mediums including drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, and ceramics. Mentoring relationships are strengthened through the program as it allows mentors and youth to learn together in a new shared experience.
The goals of the SMART program are to:
- Provide an advanced opportunity for youth who are underserved or facing significant life challenges to develop their artistic skills through participating in high-quality classes, field trips and workshops led by professional, working artists. Increase artistic engagement, art making skills, knowledge of careers and resources.
- Foster positive Youth Development by developing critical thinking and problem solving skills through solving artistic challenges; reflecting on processes, context and product during art making and through critique; increasing ability to express oneself and convey feelings and thoughts via art in a safe, social setting.
- Strengthen the bond between youth and their adult mentors by sparking mentor-youth dialogue; engaging in personal/emotional expression; participating in a shared experience and challenge; and equalizing the youth/adult dynamic through allowing opportunities for youth to be experts.
- Connect youth to their community by increasing sense of belonging to Art Center community; increasing respect for others, empathy, ability to communicate and work with individuals who are different; and providing recognition, appreciation and acknowledgment of youth’s achievements.
SMARTjunior serves matches with youth ages of 10-14 through a 5-session program offered three times throughout the year. Classes for SMARTjunior meet on selected Saturdays from 10 AM-noon.
SMART serves matches with youth ages 14 and older through three refined terms, field trips, and a professional exhibition at the end of the program. Classes for SMART meet on selected Saturdays from 1-3 PM.
Each year, a theme or concept guides the projects and discussions that take place in the SMART studio. This year's theme is about finding your voice. The program culminates with a professional exhibition at the Indianapolis Art Center. SMART's upcoming exhibition opening will be on Friday, June 19, 2020 from 6:30-9:00 PM.
Each year, youth and their mentors work one-on-one with professional artists in classes at the Art Center. The three teaching artists for 2019-20 year are Kalie Holdren (Sculpture), Adreia Hawkins (Photography), and Andrea Jandernoa (Drawing/Painting).
SMARTplus is an advanced, studio-based program for SMART alumni, to further support the teen's artistic development. Teens have ownership over the projects they choose during the year-long program. Students are supported in developing and exhibition an independent body of work. SMARTplus students are also exposed to various college and career opportunities in the arts.
The SMARTplus program culminates with a professional exhibition at the Indianapolis Art Center. Their upcoming exhibition opening will be on Friday, June 19, 2020 from 6:30-9:00 PM.
Each year, youth and their mentors work one-on-one with a professional artist in classes at the Art Center. SMARTplus's teaching artist for the 2019-20 year is Jingo de la Rosa.
If you would like more information about the SMART programs, contact Jheny Nieto, Youth and Teen Programs Manager, at JNieto@IndplsArtCenter.org or 317.255.2464 x 2370.
MAJOR FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM IS PROVIDED BY
THE EUGENE AND MARILYN GLICK FOUNDATION
Additional support from Transformation Trust, Inc. and Lilly Endowment, Inc.
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